The Cardboard Kingdom, Book 1
By Michael Berry,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Kids make up own brave adventures in fun tale of free play.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows kids how much fun imaginative play can be, making up your own games and creating costumes among a diverse group of neighborhood kids.
With a little bit of imagination and cardboard, kids can have great adventures together. Kids should be able to express themselves without fear of being teased.
Positive Role Models
Each kid in the neighborhood has a different idea about who they are and how they relate to everyone else. Conflicts are inevitable, but they are usually resolved through empathy, kindness.
Violence & Scariness
Kids battle robots, monsters, and wizards, but no one gets hurt.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Cardboard Kingdom is a graphic novel by Chad Sell, in which neighborhood kids pretend to be superheroes by creating costumes from cardboard. The cast is broad and diverse, with characters of different ethnicities, genders, and physical abilities. The emphasis is on imagination, cooperation,and kindness.
Where to Read
Based on 4 parent reviews
Celebration of Diversity
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Fantastic and Imaginative
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What's the Story?
At the start of THE CARDBOARD KINGDOM, 16 kids spend the last days of summer making superhero costumes and using their imaginations to stage epic battles. Some are heroes, some might be villains, but all learn lessons about getting along while being true to who they are in real life. The highly diverse cast deals with divorcing parents, difficult grandparents, neighborhood bullies, and their own inner demons.
Is It Any Good?
This kindhearted, warm, and funny graphic novel captures the many delights of imaginative play among old friends and newcomers to the neighborhood. In The Cardboard Kingdom, author-illustrator Chad Sell has a bold, expressive drawing style, perfect for capturing the subtleties of kids with different backgrounds, interests, and abilities. Geared toward younger readers, the book tells a complete story but also invites further adventures. Readers may be inspired to make their own costumes for summertime fun.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how The Cardboard Kingdom promotes imaginative play. How are the neighborhood kids able to make costumes that match their interests?
How can kids with different interests work together and become friends? Is it more fun to play by yourself or to invite others to join you?
How can stories about superheroes change things in the real world? Why are they so popular in different media? What do kids learn from them?
- Author: Chad Sell
- Illustrator: Chad Sell
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Arts and Dance
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: July 5, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 9, 2021
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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